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Thursday, 1 June 2017

What we’re tracking on 01 June 2017

Well, we have (almost) made it to the weekend. Happy first week of Ramadan, ladies and gentlemen. Oh, and it’s the first day of June. Anyone else feel as if 2017 is going by on fast-forward, or is it just us?

If it’s the first of the month, it’s stats time: The Egyptian Exchange’s brokerage league table should be released today, and The Emirates NBD / Markit purchasing managers’ index should be out on Monday, 5 June. Central bank of Egypt reserve numbers should be out next week, and CAPMAS typically releases inflation figures on 10-11 of the month.

Talks with Sudan back on: Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour is set to meet with his Egyptian counterpart on Saturday, Al Masry Al Youm reports, citing Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid. It is being suggested by diplomatic sources that the talks will explore “ongoing economic issues,” a veiled reference to the blanket ban on imports of agricultural and animal products from Egypt that Sudan imposed this week. The talks are also seen covering political issues that are at the root of the flap — and that escalated last week when Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir accused Egypt of arming rebels in Sudan. Regional issues including Libya will also be on the agenda. Ghandour was originally scheduled to visit this week, but canceled his trip “due to internal issues.”

Sometimes, a low profile is the way to go: Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil has reportedly (and quite sensibly) instructed senior ministry officials not to talk about Sudan’s ban on Egyptian imports, sources tell Al Mal. In a lovely statement of the obvious, the story suggests that given the root cause of the ban is political, it may not be appropriate to blather on about unfettered trade.

The executive regulations governing the stamp tax on capital market transactions should be out in a few days’ time, a Finance Ministry source tells Al Mal. The stamp tax is expected to be implemented within the next week.

Shut your Face, close your Tweeter. We’re going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you’re reading Enterprise, you’re unlikely to be a closet Daesh sympathizer. But do you really want US immigration officials scrolling through whatever you ranted about when you were tipsy four years ago? Or that racy image you accidentally RT’ed? No? Then now might be a good moment to embrace privacy and get off social media as “the Trump administration has rolled out a new questionnaire for U.S. visa applicants worldwide that asks for social media handles for the last five years and biographical information going back 15 years,” according to Reuters. You can check out the State Department’s new questionnaire (called the DS-5535 Supplemental Questions for Visa Applicants”) here in pdf.

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